Since January, I have gone through note-taking app hell. My attempts to find and keep using a note-taking app that works like I think has been an adventure and not one that I would want to go through again.
This is how I spent a lot of my day yesterday.
Deleting note-taking app accounts and other apps that I no longer use.
Please delete my account.
I am going through an app/website audit and have determined that I no longer want to maintain this account.
Luckily I didn’t have to send that message out too many times. Most apps or websites now have self-service deletion so that you can quickly do it. Although some still hide the deletion command behind several layers of clicking to thwart your efforts, unless you are quite determined to delete your account (which I was). However, for some, you still need to contact their customer support to delete an account. I guess one more piece of friction or another step that might get you to change your mind or give up.
So what accounts did I delete or apps got deleted off my devices today?
- Capacities – I really liked what they are doing, but the lack of MacOS and IOS apps, and no capture beyond copy/paste limited its usefulness for me. At some point, this is one app that I would like to take another look at after it gets more mature and has MacOS and IOS apps.
- My Mind – I couldn’t wrap my head around the app and wasn’t willing to take the time to learn it better. MyMind intrigues me a lot since I have attempted to use it a couple of times. I’m just not willing to take the time to learn it right now.
- AmpleNote – Importing to it sucks and I am not willing to go through the learning curve to figure it all out. The backlinking works but isn’t what I am looking for. If I had gone to this instead of Notion back in January/February, it might have been a different story.
- Agenda – Never got used to how they did things, I didn’t take the time to learn the intricacies of Agenda. I thought initially that I was going to love it but quickly was disillusioned with Agenda when I used it for a few days. Even though I have a subscription until next July, it is one of those sunk costs that I will eat and move on from.
- Clover – I recently came across Clover and really, really liked the U/I. To be honest, I didn’t feel like dealing with the new app learning curve this time. It has a lot of possibilities and I might check it out again down the road.
- Craft – As much as I like the U/I and had a subscription paid for through next May, It came down to the fact that I don’t use it. Craft is one of those apps that I should have loved, but didn’t. So, I simply need to move on from it versus keeping it in my apps library. One of those letting go of sunk costs is something that I need to do.
- Mem.ai – hbh. A retired account that I won’t be using. It needed to go away. Yes, I kept my other Mem account.
- RoamResearch – Comparing it to Reflect, Reflect is more along the lines of what I want from a note-taking app. For a long time, it seemed as though Roam was going the way of the Dodo bird. It might be making a comeback, but it is too late for me.
- Logseq – Was one of those that should have been exactly what I was looking for, plus the price is right. But for some reason, I never got comfortable with using Logseq. It wasn’t for a lack of trying because I attempted to use Logseq multiple times. However, it was not intuitive and I would get frustrated too easily while attempting to use it. Plus, with all the plugins available, I was too busy playing with the app to make it better for me and not doing what I wanted the app for – to take and use the notes. Maybe I need a bit more structure than what Logseq provided?
- Remnote – I was unsure about deleting this one, but like Roam when I got to thinking about things and compared it to Reflect Notes, it wasn’t what I was looking for. At some point, you gotta be sure of the apps you are going to use and it wasn’t at the level of intuitiveness that I want.
- Notion – I like a lot of what Notion does. However, Notion became a time sink for me, where I would spend more time frig-farting around with the different templates, setting up database views/filters, and customizations. I kept attempting to get it to work the way that I did. Notion never did.
- Evernote – I really attempted to use Evernote, even going through their Evernote Expert course. It came down to Evernote not working the way that I think. I am moving away from folder-based apps that don’t backlink blocks intuitively or show those blocks in the pages that I setup. I deleted all my Evernote accounts, but my legacy account from 2008 and regressed that to free version next week, when the Pro version comes up for renewal.
- NimbusNotes – I never got comfortable with using Nimbus Notes. I am not sure what or why I felt that way, but that feeling persisted each time I attempted use it over the last 4-5 months.
- Ulysses – I liked it at first, but the more I used it the less I liked Ulysses, my subscription runs through to September and I will not renew.
- Drafts – It has a place in what I do, but at the same time, it would only be for capture and the apps that I am keeping do a pretty good job of that.
- OneNote – I deleted my notebooks and the app off all my devices, but kept it intact in OneDrive. There is a lot I like about OneNote even though it is a folder-based app. However, I really don’t want to go back into the Microsoft fold at this time.
- Google Keep – Is off all my devices, and cleared the app itself of all files. It just isn’t what I was looking for.
- Joplin – It wasn’t the direction that I wanted to go with my note-taking app and disappeared. A great Evernote replacement.
I am sure that there are others out there that I will remember that I created an account and then deleted it off my devices after I tried it and didn’t like the app.
After all that deleting, what note-taking apps did I keep:
- Reflect Notes – It is the one I continue paying the monthly fee and even when I get a wandering eye, it is the one I keep coming back to.
- Mem.ai – I like a lot of what Mem is doing, but the base app doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of improvements, there are too many workarounds that I have to do to make it work as I do. Plus I prefer a block editor and block transclusion, which Mem does not have. You are expected to create “smart” notes, which to me flies in the face of having a Daily Mem, you can’t focus on having a Daily Mem and not have block transclusion in my opinion. It is also taking forever to get an invite to MemX. Although I have heard a rumor that they will be sending more of them out over the next couple of weeks. If I don’t have one by Aug 1st, I will move on. I have a feeling that MemX will either end up becoming my primary note-taking or my Mem account will be deleted.
- Obsidian – For now, I will use Obsidian as an inactive archive and see where choices 1 and 2 go in the future. If I do use Obsidian, it will start with an archive folder, and then develop the structure I need to survive with an app that has too many options.
- Apple Notes — I have a lot of notes from Evernote and Apple Notes here that aren’t anyplace else. To move them with the limited export function, would be difficult and time consuming. Not something I want to deal with yet.
- Flowdex – This was something new that caught my eye last week. Flowdex is in a very early beta. I am not sure where or if it fits (if it does), but will keep it around to see where it goes for a little bit. Most likely it will be deleted.
It was a busy day!
My perfect note-taking app would be something crossed between Reflect Notes or Capacities and Mem. Unfortunately, that won’t ever happen and I will always have to make feature compromises to use the note taking apps that are out there.
There is nothing out there that behaves in the convoluted manner that my brain tends to wander off too.
I am learning the hard way that often limiting choices is better than attempting to have so many that I am constantly in a state of confusion. My ADHD-like tendencies get me into trouble with wanting to try the next shiny object or suddenly deciding that this app does this better than that app. All too often making the switch before I thought it through and it was too late to stop myself.
That – think, do, plan thought process that plagues me far too often.
As a result, it was time to get rid of the ones I wasn’t going to use.
Which I did.
I think that I will stick with Reflect Notes and see what MemX is like for a while. It is time give the brain a chance to recover from the note-taking hell I have put it through since February.